Bai Yunfei walked back to the tavern in a trance. After he got into his room and slammed the door shut, there was not any sound of movement.
Two hours later, he walked out of the room again. There was no happiness on his face. He just walked on the streets with his eyebrows slightly wrinkled. After walking seemingly aimlessly on the streets for half an hour, he dashed into an alleyway and disappeared.
About another hour later, he returned to the tavern and shut himself in his room.
At around six o’clock in the afternoon, knocks on the door awakened Bai Yunfei, who was sitting on the bed practicing breathing. Xiao Ning’s questioning voice then came in from outside the door.
Bai Yunfei opened the door, have a few words with her then walked out of the tavern with her.
Because today was a cloudy day, it was already somewhat dark at the moment and there were much fewer people walking on the streets as well. Bai Yunfei could feel a slight chill in the clear wind that blew into his face.
Before long, he had followed Xiao Ning into a restaurant on the west street. After going up the second floor and pushing open the door of a room, he saw Liu Meng sitting inside and a pudgy, middle-aged man about forty years old next to her.
Seeing Bai Yunfei enter the room, Liu Meng had a very happy expression. She stood up, walked up to his side and said to the middle-aged man: “Father, this is Yunfei. He’s a soul cultivator of the middle Soul Warrior stage!”
After saying so, she pulled his hand gently, leading him to the table and making him sit down, then said: “Yunfei, this is my father, Liu Yan.”
Bai Yunfei looked at the middle-aged man, who was sizing him up, and nodded slightly, saying rather respectfully: “Uncle Liu.”
Liu Yan withdrew his eyes and said with a slight nod: “Mm, not bad, though you don’t appear to be outstanding, you seem to be a calm and careful person. This is something very hard to come by.”
After saying these superficial words, he stopped, gave Liu Meng beside him a look then told Xiao Ning on one side: “Bring all the dishes out together. I’ve been rushing all the way over here so I’m a bit hungry.”
Xiao Ning gave a sound of agreement. The room then fell into awkward silence.
Bai Yunfei lowered his head, seeming not to know what to say. Liu Yan lowered his head too, seeming to be resting because he was really somewhat tired as he had said.
On one side, Liu Meng appeared to be rather anxious. In order to ease the atmosphere, she had no choice but to ask Liu Yan about his business. Bai Yunfei did not understand these matters so he could only listen to them talk about things like the goods and increases in price in a certain city or making a loss because a certain batch of goods had not arrived on time.
A while later, as the dishes began to be brought out successively, the topic of conversation between the two of them gradually shifted to Liu Meng’s mother. Liu Meng also said a few words to Bai Yunfei occasionally, wanting to let him take part in the conversation, but he seemed unwilling to talk much and only gave vague answers.
“Right, Yunfei, it seems you’ve never talked about your family. Where’s your family? Why have you never mentioned your parents?” Seeing that he looked a little lost, Liu Meng asked.
Bai Yunfei fell silent for some time then replied: “I was an orphan. I started to follow my master when I was little.”
“Oh… I see.” Liu Meng seemed to know that she had mentioned a sad event in Bai Yunfei’s life so she immediately changed the topic of conversation, “No wonder you’re so formidable. It turns out you started to study under your master when you were little. It must have been very exhausting, right? You’re really determined.”
“Humph, reaching the middle Soul Warrior stage at the age of eighteen, you’re indeed a little more talented than ordinary soul cultivators. But that’s about it…” Hearing Liu Meng praise Bai Yunfei, Liu Yan frowned and said somewhat disapprovingly.
“Father, how could you say that?” Liu Meng seemed to be rather worried, “The level of soulforce isn’t the only thing Yunfei has. He…”
“You want to mention those special soul items or something of his again?” Liu Yan interrupted her, saying frowningly: “I’m not a soul cultivator, but I’ve been in contact with the Zhang family of the Glacial School in recent years and gained lots of knowledge. There ain’t no such special soul items. Don’t make up those ridiculous so-called special soul items on purpose to elevate his status!”
“That’s not true, father. Yunfei really has…”
“So what if he has them? They were merely given to him by his master!” Liu Yan interrupted Liu Yan once again.
“Just stop talking already… I beg you, stop talking…” Bai Yunfei drooped his head. Although his expression was calm, he was ‘begging’ nonstop in his mind.
“How come? Yunfei’s master made them. As his disciple, Yunfei definitely also…” Liu Meng’s voice rang out. It sounded like she was ‘pleading’ to defend him, but in Bai Yunfei’s heart, those words turned into thousands of needles that pierced into the depths of his heart.
“Yunfei, actually… You also know how to make those soul items, right?” Liu Meng held his right hand using her soft, seemingly boneless jade-like hand and asked gently while looking at him in a totally expectant manner.
Bai Yunfei closed his eyes in silence, feeling a trace of warmth coming from his hand. This ‘warmth’, which should be sweet and make him feel happy, turned into a bone-piercing chill after entering his heart, freezing it…
He then raised his head. Upon making contact with her hopeful eyes, his pupils shrunk a bit, but he did not answer her question. Instead, he asked calmly: “Meng’er, do you remember the day when you were kidnapped by the Long family’s men? That time, it was you who told Long Taogu my name, right?”
“Oh? Yunfei, why do you suddenly ask this question?” Liu Meng was startled then said casually: “That day, I was caught by them. In my anxiety, I mentioned your name, saying that you’d come to rescue me… Could it be you’re angry about this?”
Bai Yunfei smiled and shook his head slightly. He then lifted his head and said to Liu Yan sitting in front of him: “Uncle, it’s Meng’er’s birthday in a few days. Could you allow me to accompany her until after her birthday before you take her home?”
“What?” Liu Yan seemed to be dumbstruck by this sudden question of his and cast a somewhat doubtful look at Liu Meng. After thinking for a bit, he said frowningly: “How is this possible? I already promised her mother that I’d take her home. Besides…”
“Ha, ha ha, ha ha ha…” Bai Yunfei’s chuckles interrupted his words. Then the chuckles slowly changed, turning into jeering laughs which were full of satire.
Bai Yunfei still kept his head lowered. His shoulders was shaking nonstop and his laughter contained a profound sadness.
Liu Meng’s hand suddenly felt empty. That tinge of tenderness had pulled away. She stood up, took two steps backwards and looked at Bai Yunfei with a complicated expression, saying hesitantly: “You… You’ve already found out?”
Bai Yunfei stopped his laughter, lifted his head and stared at her with a vague smile: “I’ve found out what?
“You mean I’ve found out this man isn’t your father, or this meal is actually a trap, or you approached me earlier only to fool me?”
Bai Yunfei said without waiting for Liu Meng to answer his first question. These words made her expression change greatly.